Rodgers stays grounded as Reds top table
LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers is adamant his side are still dark horses for the English Premier League title, despite going to the top of the table.
A 4-0 demolition of Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday took Liverpool to the top spot after Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal all dropped points the day before.
With six games remaining, the Reds, with 71 points, are two clear of second-placed Chelsea and four ahead of third-placed Manchester City, who have played two matches fewer.
With Liverpool still to play City and Chelsea at home - where they have lost just once all season - their chance to end a 24-year wait for title success is still in their hands.
But Rodgers continues to play down the prospect.
"I don't think anyone expected us to be where we are. In the last few seasons, we have been eighth and seventh," he said.
"There are some great teams up there and world-class managers, so we understand it's going to be difficult, but we just do what we can do and see where it takes us.
"There is no doubt they (City and Chelsea) understand this is going to be a real tough place to come. We love playing here.
"We respect Chelsea, they have a world-class manager, top players, the squad have been put together over the last 10 years to win the Champions League and Premier League, and City are one of the new superpowers in European football.
"But we feel that we can win any game, because we are a team. We may not have the best group of individuals, but we have a lot of hunger in a team."
Liverpool racked up an eighth straight league win, thanks to a Younes Kaboul own goal, Luis Suarez's 29th of the season and second-half strikes from Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson, as Spurs were almost made to suffer a repeat of the 5-0 beating they took against the Reds at White Hart Lane in December.
And Rodgers is delighted to be bringing a sense of excitement back to Anfield, where there is a growing belief this could be their year.
"The supporters are appreciating what they are seeing," he added. "You can see it was a long winter and it's been a tough period over 20-odd years and they can see something building here, not just for now but for the future."
Tottenham's hopes for a top-four finish look to be over, and manager Tim Sherwood can only hope that he is given the chance to try and make amends next season.
Reports over the weekend said that Spurs had lined up Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal as a replacement.
Van Gaal, who has coached at Ajax, Barcelona, Alkmaar and Bayern Munich, is highly rated in the business.
Sherwood admitted that he has a tough task ahead, noting: "The statistics don't lie and the return of points is not good enough."
He sees Manchester City as favourites for the title but is not writing off Liverpool, saying: "Liverpool have done a fantastic job, from last season to this is chalk and cheese.
"They are still in this race. The players they have in the final third are sensational. If they tighten up a bit, they have a good chance."